CLASSIC CAR REVIEWS - FIAT 600

Fiat 600 Review

Fiat 600 Review

The Fiat 600 may seem like the less popular, uglier version of the Fiat 500, but this car had plenty of things going for it. The 600 started off with a 633cc 4 cylinder engine that was water cooled, whereas the 500 only had a 479cc engine without water cooling. U.K. sales were never that strong due to the phenomenal success of the Mini; however it was a strong seller in other parts of the world, as it was declared the best selling car of the 1960s in Argentina. 

It was produced between 1955 and 1969 costing 590,000 lire. It is also credited as being the first rear engine Fiat ever. It had four drum brakes with a unique suspension set up with independent coil over shock absorbers. 

The 600D was introduced in 1970, boasting a 767cc engine which boosted the top speed to a steady 68mph. The 600 always was a show stopper, especially when it was first introduced at Geneva motor show in 1955. But many people felt that it could be improved, which led to a number of iants. 

Related cars include the Seat 600 which was exactly the same but made in Spain for the Spanish market, and the Zastava 750 which was made under license in Yugoslavia, which was slightly longer than the standard Fiat 600. The Seat 600 spawned an unusual 5 door iant, the 800. It featured front suicide doors and looked as though two doors had been welded onto the back of the current 600. 

The 600 multipla was sold from 1956 to 1965 and managed to seat 6 people in a floor plan of just 50 centimetres. The back two rows could be folded flat to accommodate a large load space, or kept up to seat 4 or 6 people. The 600 Ghia Jolly was a multipla based convertible that managed to retain its six seater status, but with the added comfort of wicker seats. 

Abarth took delivery of Fiat 600s in 1956 and began making them into Fiat Abarth 750s. The 750 included a modified 767cc engine with high compression pistons, a lighter flywheel and a new crankshaft. A larger capacity radiator was also fitted to help aid cooling. The 750 was capable of 0-60 in less than 20 seconds and a top speed of 81 mph. Abarth needed to make the car visually distinguishable from the 600 so added red stripes along each side, an Abarth Grille and Abarth wheel trims.

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